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U.S. to expel 15 Cuban embassy staffers

US expels 15 Cuban Diplomats

The U.S. government has ordered 15 staff members from the Cuban Embassy in Washington to leave the country, a State Department official said Tuesday, a step intended to bring diplomatic operations between the two nations into parity after the U.S. cut its staff in Havana last week.

The official said the expulsion of Cuban diplomats should not be taken as an indication of a larger policy shift toward Havana, nor should it be read as the U.S. government blaming its Cuban counterparts for a series of sonic attacks against American diplomatic personnel. It was those attacks that prompted the State Department last week to order more than 60 percent of its embassy staff in Havana to leave the island.

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UN sends warning letters to firms that trade in occupied Palestinian territories

UN sends warning letters about trading with w bank co's

The UN human rights commissioner, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, has sent letters to an estimated 150 international and Israeli businesses warning them that they may be included in a UN database of companies involved with illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The letters have been sent as part of the legal verification and clarification process to give businesses identified as working in settlements the right of reply before the database is published in December.

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Mexico death toll rises as volunteers join frantic search for quake survivors

Mexico earthquake:Sept.  2017Rescue workers backed by an army of untrained volunteers searched for survivors buried under mounds of rubble as the death toll from Tuesday’s powerful earthquake climbed to at least 223 across central Mexico.

The 7.1 magnitude earthquake left a chess board of destruction across the country’s capital, where almost a hundred deaths have been confirmed so far.

At least 44 buildings collapsed completely in Mexico City, according to official figures, with thousands more left damaged and unstable in the sprawling city, which is built on a drained lakebed.

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7.1 earthquake rocks Mexico City, central Mexico

Puebla earthquakeA magnitude-7.1 earthquake struck the central Mexican state of Puebla on Tuesday afternoon, the US Geological Survey said.

Preliminary reports put the epicenter 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) east-northeast of San Juan Raboso and 34.1 miles (55 km) south-southwest of the city of Puebla, according to the USGS.

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Geneva: 500 euro notes found flushed down toilets

Euros flushed down toilets.

Swiss prosecutors are investigating why tens of thousands of euros were flushed down toilets in Geneva.

The €500 (£440; $600) notes were cut up and found in the toilets of a branch of the bank UBS and in three nearby restaurants.

Thousands of francs have reportedly been spent on plumbing repairs to unclog the surrounding pipes. The high-value euro notes are due to be withdrawn in 2018 over fears they facilitate illegal activities.

TVNL Comment:  This is a strange story that might be worth following.  We'll keep you posted.

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UN takes up North Korea after latest missile launch

UN Security CouncilNorth Korea conducted its longest-ever test flight of a ballistic missile Friday, sending an intermediate-range weapon hurtling over U.S. ally Japan into the northern Pacific Ocean in a launch that signals both defiance of its rivals and a big technological advance.

Since U.S. President Donald Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" in August, the North has conducted its most powerful nuclear test, threatened to send missiles into the waters around the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam and launched two missiles of increasing range over Japan. July saw its first tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles that could strike deep into the U.S. mainland when perfected.

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'For first time in 300 years, there’s not a single living person on the island of Barbuda'

Barbuda without a single person for first time in 300 years

Barbuda has been left completely devastated by Hurricane Irma. An estimated 95% of Barbuda’s structures are damaged, and the entire island of around 1,800 people has been evacuated.

“The damage is complete,” says Ambassador Ronald Sanders, who has served as Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the U.S. since 2015. “For the first time in 300 years, there’s not a single living person on the island of Barbuda — a civilization that has existed on that island for over 300 years has now been extinguished.”

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